Councillor says public concerns have shifted from potholes to lighting, weeds and pavements

Councillor says public concerns have shifted from potholes to lighting, weeds and pavements
Councillor says public concerns have shifted from potholes to lighting, weeds and pavements

Issues with streetlighting, damaged pavements and overgrown weeds are now a bigger concern to residents than potholes, according to a councillor.

The 2017 National Highways and Transport Network Survey found public satisfaction for roads in Bucks was “low” as harsh winter weather created more pothole problems.

However, during a meeting of Bucks County Council’s (BCC) budget scrutiny select committee last week, deputy cabinet member for transport, Paul Irwin, said public concerns have shifted.

He said: “When we first got involved in this, all of the talk was about the roads, but now the biggest issues are lighting and weeds and pavements.

“I think it has changed a lot, and I think it is a good thing because we are going in on a smaller scale now.

“The roads aren’t in a terrible place now. It really is the smaller bits and pieces now we really want to push on.”

Last year BCC ploughed millions of additional cash into repairing thousands of potholes and in November the government announced it will give the authority £4 million for road repairs.

However, cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, said “there is never enough money” to carry out all the tasks he wants to within the transport service, particularly when it comes to repairing roads and pavements.

He added more money needs to be spent on drainage schemes to ensure water does not continue to damage roads.

Cllr Shaw said: “We will always have a huge issue in that we aren’t given enough money to do the job we want to do, but we do the job the best we can do within the budgetary constraints.

“We never knowingly go out to overspend, we always keep within our budget, but we always try and keep this county a safe and secure place to travel and move around.

“One of the biggest things we do need to spend more money on, because the budget has now changed, is drainage.

“We really do need to keep on the excellent work that we have done in drainage with a number of capital schemes.”